# Plot matrix from input data

I have a matrix, M, exported from Matlab to a .dat file. I want to import this into tikz and plot a density plot for the real and imaginary parts of M separately. The x-axis being the column index, y-axis the rows and the z being the value stored in element [M]_{i,j}.

This question was asked and got a reply to in this post. However, the solution required specific manipulation of the data and given that it was asked almost 4 years ago, I'm wondering whether there is an alternative approach.

The data matrix looks like this:

1.083+0.329i    0.329+-0.373i   0-0.139i            -0.139-0.896i
0.329-0.683i    -0.683-0.379i   0.139+0i            4.494e-12+0.215i
0.329-0.683i    -0.683-0.379i   0.139-4.494e-12i    0+0.215i
-0.373-0.379i   -0.379+0.282i   0.896-0.215i        -0.215+0i


Any help is appreciated.

• If the matrix comes from Matlab, would it not be easier to make the plot there and save it as a vector image? Nov 15 '19 at 12:37
• @DisenchantedLurker, That is certainly a possibility. I do prefer the more native TikZ option
– Sid
Nov 15 '19 at 12:40
• Yes, there are solutions that do the conversion like this one. If you provide some information on how one should deal with the is, probably an explicit answer can be written.
– user194703
Nov 15 '19 at 15:57
• @Schrödinger'scat, I will need to do the plot with the Real and Imaginary parts separately. I am working on separating these.
– Sid
Nov 15 '19 at 16:41
• Is the +- in 0.329+-0.373i a typo? If yes, it is not too difficult to separate them. If it is not a typo, it is still possible, but I would not know what the interpretation of this complex number is.
– user194703
Nov 15 '19 at 17:17

This is some code that reads your table and allows you to produce a matrix plot for the real and imaginary parts. The extraction of the real and imaginary parts uses xstring. For the real part, we just replace i by *0, and parse the result. For the imaginary part, we replace i by *1 and subtract the real part. Seems to work fine.

\documentclass[border=3mm,tikz]{standalone}
\usepackage{pgfplots}
\usetikzlibrary{pgfplots.colormaps}
\pgfplotsset{compat=1.16}
\usepackage{pgfplotstable}
\usepackage{filecontents}
\usepackage{xstring}

\begin{filecontents*}{complexentries.dat}
1.083+0.329i    0.329+-0.373i   0-0.139i            -0.139-0.896i
0.329-0.683i    -0.683-0.379i   0.139+0i            4.494e-12+0.215i
0.329-0.683i    -0.683-0.379i   0.139-4.494e-12i    0+0.215i
-0.373-0.379i   -0.379+0.282i   0.896-0.215i        -0.215+0i
\end{filecontents*}
\def\pgfmathsetmacroFPU#1#2{\begingroup%
\pgfkeys{/pgf/fpu,/pgf/fpu/output format=fixed}%
\pgfmathsetmacro{#1}{#2}%
\pgfmathsmuggle#1\endgroup}%
\newcommand\ExtractRealAndImaginary[1]{%
\StrSubstitute{#1}{i}{*0}[\mytemp]%
\pgfmathsetmacroFPU{\myreal}{\mytemp}%
\StrSubstitute{#1}{i}{*1}[\mytemp]%
\pgfmathsetmacroFPU{\myim}{\mytemp-\myreal}}

\def\ipExtractRealAndImaginary#1+#2i{\def\myreal{#1}\def\myim{#2}}
\def\imExtractRealAndImaginary#1-#2i{\def\myreal{#1}\def\myim{-#2}}
\pgfplotstablegetelem{#2}{[index]#3}\of{#1}%
\let#4\pgfplotsretval
}
\begin{document}
%\pgfplotstabletypeset\datatable

%\end{document}
\pgfplotstablegetrowsof{\datatable}
\pgfmathtruncatemacro{\numrows}{\pgfplotsretval}
\pgfplotstablegetcolsof{\datatable}
\pgfmathtruncatemacro{\numcols}{\pgfplotsretval}
\foreach \nY in {1,...,\numrows}
{\pgfmathtruncatemacro{\newY}{\numrows-\nY}
\foreach \nX in {1,...,\numcols}
{
%\typeout{===========}
\edef\temp{\noexpand\ExtractRealAndImaginary{\Current}}
\temp
%\typeout{Re(\Current)=\myreal,Im(\Current)=\myim}
%\edef\myentry{\myim}%
\pgfmathtruncatemacro{\nZ}{\nX+\nY}%
\ifnum\nZ=2
\xdef\LstX{\the\numexpr\nX-1}%
\xdef\LstY{\the\numexpr\nY-1}%
\xdef\LstRe{\myreal}%
\xdef\LstIm{\myim}%
\else
\xdef\LstX{\LstX,\the\numexpr\nX-1}%
\xdef\LstY{\LstY,\the\numexpr\nY-1}%
\xdef\LstRe{\LstRe,\myreal}%
\xdef\LstIm{\LstIm,\myim}%
\fi
}
}
\edef\temp{\noexpand\pgfplotstableset{
create on use/x/.style={create col/set list={\LstX}},
create on use/y/.style={create col/set list={\LstY}},
create on use/real/.style={create col/set list={\LstRe}},
create on use/im/.style={create col/set list={\LstIm}},
}}
\temp
\pgfmathtruncatemacro{\strangenum}{\numrows*\numcols}
\pgfplotstablenew[columns={x,y,real,im}]{\strangenum}\strangetable

%\pgfplotstabletypeset\strangetable

\begin{tikzpicture}
\begin{axis}[%
small,title=real parts,
tick align=outside,
minor tick num=4,
%
xlabel=$x$,
xlabel near ticks,
xmin=-1, xmax=4,
xtick=\empty,
%
ylabel=$y$,
ylabel style={rotate=-90},
ymin=-1, ymax=4,
ytick=\empty,
%     point meta min=0,
%     point meta max=32,
point meta=explicit,
%
%colorbar sampled,
colorbar as palette,
colorbar style={samples=3},
%colormap name=WhiteRedBlack,
scale mode=scale uniformly,
]
matrix plot,
mesh/cols=4,
point meta=explicit,
] table [meta=real,col sep=comma] \strangetable;
\end{axis}
\end{tikzpicture}

\begin{tikzpicture}
\begin{axis}[%
small,title=imaginary parts,
tick align=outside,
minor tick num=4,
%
xlabel=$x$,
xlabel near ticks,
xmin=-1, xmax=4,
xtick=\empty,
%
ylabel=$y$,
ylabel style={rotate=-90},
ymin=-1, ymax=4,
ytick=\empty,
%     point meta min=0,
%     point meta max=32,
point meta=explicit,
%
%colorbar sampled,
colorbar as palette,
colorbar style={samples=3},
%colormap name=WhiteRedBlack,
scale mode=scale uniformly,
]
matrix plot,
mesh/cols=4,
point meta=explicit,
] table [meta=im,col sep=comma] \strangetable;
\end{axis}
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document}


• I've managed to split the data into real and imaginary parts. This removes the need to have TikZ handle the i and the +-. So now I have two data sets containing the separate parts. Will this work for that?
– Sid
Nov 16 '19 at 15:26
• @Sid I believe so, yes. You only need the plot with ...table [meta=real,col sep=comma].... You could also just use this answer then. (I should say it was fun to make pgfplots work with complex entries. ;-)
– user194703
Nov 16 '19 at 15:28
• Rather than loading the data file complexentries.dat through \begin{filecontents*}{complexentries.dat}, how can I load my data? I have previously used \pgfplotstableread{complexentries.dat}{\compexentries} but this doesn't seem to work.
– Sid
Nov 17 '19 at 17:36
• @Sid \begin{filecontents*} does not load a file, it creates it. If you have the file, \pgfplotstableread{complexentries.dat}{\compexentries} should load the data. In the above code, this is done with \pgfplotstableread[header=false]{complexentries.dat}\datatable, so perhaps you only miss [header=false].
– user194703
Nov 17 '19 at 17:58
• @sid You could replace colorbar style={samples=3}, by colormap/viridis,colorbar sampled,. (Color bars and maps are tricky beasts...)
– user194703
Nov 17 '19 at 18:34